Retrofit projects and remodels generate a particular set of challenges when compared to new construction. In these types of projects, design centers around the constraints of the space, and it is essential that you work within its limits. These design challenges were especially apparent when Strang tackled the outdated mechanical systems of the Waukesha County Expo Center.
Built in 1972, the Waukesha County Exposition Center Arena complex features 21,000 SF of year-round heated and air-conditioned meeting and exhibit space. It includes a domed roof, stage, three meeting rooms, kitchen, two balconies, staff offices, and box office. The primary heating and cooling system were original to the building and at 48 years of service life, was in dire need of replacement.
Strang partnered with Waukesha County to improve the Expo Center’s overall HVAC and mechanical systems, all of which contributed to increased efficiency and cost savings.
The shape of the building itself also offered a unique obstacle. The Expo Center is a round building that required large gluelams (glued laminated timbers) for the structure of the concrete walls. This meant that the existing mechanical systems were kept in a pie-shaped room with glulams running down at steep angles. It was up to the Strang team to find a system that would both fit into the space and meet the needs of Waukesha County. This called for a perfectly sized hot water boiler plant and pinpointing a custom air handling unit that would fit into the space just right.